Back in 2020 Florida-born but South London raised new age soul man DWY (the musical alter ego of Andrew Amoah) impressed with his debut collection, ‘8-Bit Memories’. He called the set a “mixtape”, harking back to the days when you crafted music that you really loved; that really made emotional contact.  

Now a couple of years down the line DWY (pronounced Dewey by the way) follows through with another “mixtape”, ‘Self Contained’. The concise 6 tracker was flagged up via a couple of singles, ‘Badu Feels’ and ‘Pull Up’. Both were hugely atmospheric, haunting and dreamlike and betrayed the singer’s respect for people  like Frank Ocean and Kanye West. Indeed Andrew’s team tell us  that West’s album ‘808’s & Heartbreak’ was a huge influence, encouraging him to craft soundscapes that told real stories about human connections and the human experiences in an engaging, other-worldly, emotionally charged  way.

Both those songs retain their impact and sit perfectly alongside the four other cuts – ‘Jenny’ (full of intrigue), the sparse ‘Solid Ground’, the broken  beat flavoured ‘You’ (which features a ghostly, disturbing, adolescent voice) and the melancholic title track.

The ‘Self Contained’ album is concise in several ways. First there are only 6 tracks. There’s no filler, no redundant skits, intros or outros; each track has something to say, something to offer. Then, within each track there is a conciseness about the production… no hyperbole, no overblown effects. Each part of each track is carefully placed. Sometimes, brevity and simplicity are virtues. They are here!

DWY says: “On 8-Bit I felt I was hiding in the music a bit, so on this mixtape I stripped it all back,” explains DWY. “I’m way more confident in my voice than I was before, my voice is defo front and centre. I produced or co-produced almost every song and really feel it sounds like me more than before. I wrote from a much rawer and visceral place this time around, I guess had a lot of time to think and search my feelings about my relationships and my own depression. I really want to bring back the rawness of the R&B mixtape.”

DWY’s ‘Self-Contained’ is out now and  comes recommended if you respect, proper contemporary soul music rather than recycled vibes!